Cheers to choice and abstaining in style!

Apr 3, 2018

Kamila Sitwell with Kolibri Drinks range

I don’t think I ever felt such intense anxiety mixed with an equal measure of pride, joy and excitement. I’m putting my money where my mouth is and finally launching the project which many believed could not be done!

Many of my loyal followers on Divine Eating Out know, that for years I have been completely immersed in all things hospitality - investigating trends, validating insights, sharing observations and having many inspiring conversations with bar and restaurant owners, their guests, chefs, mixologists, and servers.

Kamila working in a bar

While I was privileged enough to taste some of their most creative and adventurous cocktails, I could not help but notice that soft drinks, the category I have a very soft spot for since my times at Britvic, are still well and truly a “Cinderella” of the industry – the ugly sister to the edgy and dynamic alcoholic beverages.

collection of fizzy drinks

What tipped the scale was the sugar levy which just like a grenade threw the entire industry into a sheer panic. I was watching in disbelief how quickly authorities and public figures joined the sugar debate in demonising soft drinks with all that shaming and finger-wagging, yet no one was proposing real solutions.

Many companies rushed to reformulate with artificial sweeteners possibly more harmful than sugar ever was, or weird tasting natural alternatives, which I’m sure were never intended for human taste buds. If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.

An army of men with hammers emerged, patting each other on the backs as the calories have been cut right down…but at what cost? For someone who spent years analysing drinks, none of it felt right, and it certainly didn’t make any sense.

Until that memorable afternoon in a bar where four lemonades gave me better insight than any scientific industry report I ever read. My girlfriends kicked up such a fuss over how much sugar should be used in their individual drinks (read the story here) it made me realise that customisation might be the saviour and BESPOKE could be the future of soft drinks.

It took a long time to design a concept that ensured the delicious drink inside is matched by the artistry of the elegant bottle design, but it’s finally here and stocked at some of the most admired restaurants. Abstaining in style and empowering with elegant, bespoke drinks makes so much sense!

Kolibri bottles and a glass

Kolibri is the world’s first bottled drink with sweetness and flavour tailored to your taste. Alcohol-free, the sophisticated drinks offer distinctive botanical notes and sweetness adjusted to individual’s taste. This range is designed exclusively for discerning and health-conscious guests in the prestige bars and restaurants where experiences matter most.

We took all the sugar out, so you can put the sweetness in, as much or as little as you like. Indulge with clear conscious as it’s no more than 40 Kcal per bottle! Some like it sweet and some like it dry, I take it with a dash. It’s your choice! Such is the pressure of modern lives that sometimes we indulge and sometimes we abstain, but it should always be on our terms.

Kamila with Kolibri drops

We are adults, capable of deciding how we like our own food and drinks whether it’s coffee, cocktails and now packaged soft drinks.

Let me know how you take your Kolibri. 


Yours Sincerely,

Kamila Sitwell


Should we be scared of artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are making the headlines again, and not for the right reasons. There are millions of consumers worldwide who happily drink diet fizzy drinks which seem virtuous because they replace sugar but in reality maybe the artificial additives are not as helpful as we imagine.

Read More

Soft drinks sugar solutions post sugar tax

The sugar tax has been hotly debated since it was first mentioned back in 2016 but now, two years on, it has come into action and divided not only the nation, but the entirety of the soft drink industry. While many people are throwing accusations of Nanny State, others are likening it to the taxation of the Tobacco industry.

Read More

Cheers to choice and abstaining in style!

Kamila Sitwell launches Kolibri Drinks, the world's first bespoke bottled drink!

Read More